Movie Details

City Under Siege

Sunny (Aaron Kwok) is a clown in a circus act but he aspires to be a top performer just like his dad, The King of Flying Knife. While in Malaysia, Sunny and a few of his circus performer friends go for a treasure hunt, stumbling upon barrels of bio-chemicals left from the war. Upon returning, some of the members are mutating due to inhaling the bio-chemicals but Sunny seems fine from the exposure. They gain extraordinary superhuman powers. The leader of the entertainment outfit Chang Tai Chu (Colin Chou) decides to use this newfound strength to do evil. As there is an increase of crime in the city, the media and the police get involved. Kungfu master Suan Hou (Wu Jing) and policewoman Xin Hua (Zhang Jin Chu) enter the fray, while Angel (Shu Qi), a reporter who is recently demoted, also pursues the case in hopes of rescuing her flagging career.

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 19 Aug 2010
Genre: Action
Running Time: 1 Hour 51 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Cast: Aaron Kwok, Shu Qi, Zhang Jingchu, Colin Chou, Jacky Wu
Director: Benny Chan
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

Writer Ratings:
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Watch this if you liked: "Kungfu Cyborg”, “Future X-Cops”, “X-Men”

It's largely American "X-Men" meets Chinese "Future X-Cops" in this uncomfortable yet fairly entertaining Hong Kong actioner that certainly contains more drama than what the poster or title might suggest.

In a modification of the usual themes we find in movies about post-war Nazi experiments, this Benny Chan picture uses the prologue of fictional Japanese experiments in Malaysia during WWII occupation and spins a mutant story with heroes and villains, mostly in fat suits, clown suits or any other futuristic-looking PVC apparel, as long as they look more advanced than Streetfighter characters. We follow a bumbling simpleton named Sunny (Aaron Kwok) who goes from circus clown to national hero in a bizarre turn of events that we'll omit as spoilers. Colin Chou ("Forbidden Kingdom") plays the arch nemesis, while Shu Qi ("Gorgeous") gets a decent role as a beautiful TV news anchor. Meanwhile there are also Mr and Mrs Smith super agent roles for Zhang Jing Chu ("Aftershock") and Wu Jing ("SPL").

The balance between CGI and traditional FX isn't very comfortable in this movie, especially coming from such an established filmmaker who gave us the "Police Story" movies with Jackie Chan. As mentioned earlier, it's rather unusual that the movie does have a useful healthy dose of emotional downtime and humourous interjections (Aaron Kwok's obsession with being "slim") - this helps lift the mood for the otherwise very overdone plot. More importantly, it's possible that many of the understated action scenes in this movie are actually quite explosive but can't find a comfortable place to engage the audience who are being visually bamboozled with various CGI oddities.

We must however single out Aaron Kwok as being a much improved, very competent and professional actor despite the flak he gets all these years. In related observations, Shu Qi's Cantonese has improved fivefold since the "Sex And Zen" years while Mainlanders Zhang Jing Chu and Wu Jing need better projects if they're gonna break out of the B-movie mould.

Back to the movie, "City Under Siege" feels more "Ultraman" than "Rumble In The Bronx" but you can be assured you won't feel shortchanged if you're looking for an action movie with Chinese stars

Cinema Online, 12 August 2010
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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